Chapter One: The Town of Clearspring (7)
In this section you will find more detailed information on some of the characters you can encounter in Clearspring. We have limited ourselves to the most important NPCs; for one thing due to space, for another due to the fact that it’s more fun if you can input some of your own ideas.
Remember the earlier chapter on making a RPG session fun? And that it needs a lot of work. Believe me, it does – and it’s great when you can see your players react well to a NPC of your own creation.
We also invite you to flesh out the other NPCs, if your own ideas require such. And don’t forget: Write us about it! firstname.lastname@example.org is looking forward to reading about your thoughts and creations. (If you want to ask the author of this module, write to email@example.com. Gnashing my teeth, I’ll have to interrupt my busy schedule and answer.)
At 102 years of age, the caidwarf is fully adult – but still at the beginning of his life as a grown-up smith. He grew up at Mt. Eringard in the Arrufat peninsula, a mine in the Secula mountain chain, close to the Wild Coast. Koyson never felt very much at home with his clan, a feeling that was surely mutual. Even though none doubted he truly belonged to the clan, there was always the shadow of his father lying on Koyson’s shoulders.
Koy Banson, called the Seabourne, had been a magnificent warrior of his clan. But in his young years he had decided to leave Mt. Eringard to journey across the land, and he was gone for more than thirty years without ever sending a message back home. And once he returned after those three decades, he brought his infant son with him, along with curious and unbelievable tales about what Koy had experienced in his travels. He insisted on being addressed as Seabourne, or as Lance Lord, rather than his given name. By itself that was considered a cause of shame, and the strange insistence on his tales being true added to the feeling.
Koyson was raised very much outside the ordinary proceedings of Mt. Eringard. Only rarely was he permitted to play with the other children, and things only became worse when his father died at only 150 years of age in a battle against orcs. (That Koy Banson single-handedly defended the mountain, dying a hero, only improved his image but not the perception of his son.)
Perhaps a result of that, Koyson turned into a rebellious youngster who took every opportunity to start a fight. To prove his prowess, his strength, maybe? To prove that he was as valiant a warrior as his father? His clan never saw him that way, no matter what the young caidwarf did. If anything, their view of him worsened.
At age ninety, he ascended to manhood, achieved the title of smith – and the right to leave Mt. Eringard. Koyson gathered the old boots of his father’s – his only inheritance -, forged a waraxe for himself – the single time he used a smithy -, and without a glance back, he left the mines where he had spent all his life.
There is little of certainty to be said about his travels since then. Koyson himself is very forthcoming about his adventures and achievements, yet they have a tendency to change from day to day. All that is sure is that in early 3165 A.E., he met the furrag Vobul (under rather odd circumstances) and decided to continue his journey with the giant creature.
He still has an irate nature, a love for the fight – which puts him very much at odds with the peaceful furrag. They are a strange team, but they seem to fit very well, and it looks like the two of them are going to continue watching each other’s back (and complaining about each other) for quite a while.
His species is one of the most martial that one can encounter on Gushémal. The furrag are known for their wild, untamed nature, their uncontrolled tempers – and their terribly bloodthirsty assaults. Residing in the icy south, beyond Robhovard, the furrag society seems little advanced above cave-dwelling nomads who kill anything they encounter.
In truth, they do have a rich culture with tales and legends reaching back thousands of years. None of those have ever been written down, they are told time and again. Aside from this kind of literature, furrag have also developed a series of tools to make life easier for themselves. But those are almost never seen outside of their caves – not to mention that nobody is ever permitted inside one of those caves.
Still those developments aren’t considered important. The only thing that truly matters to a furrag is hunting down and consuming beasts, to engage and succeed in warfare. Their ferocious nature has given them an attraction to the civilized nations of the north, especially to lords and kings. To have furrag as personal bodyguards raises one’s status enormously – not to mention that they prove a splendid deterrent to any assault. Fortunately to any of those kings, furrag are extremely loyal. Once they take up service, they will never take up arms against their employer (unless they aren’t granted enough of their bloody sport, but in that case they will simply leave.)
Also fortunate is the fact that furrag have little to trade with the northernors except for themselves. (As mentioned above, their tools and cultural achievements are never revealed.)
So it was that a young furrag named Vobul found himself sold by his tribe to a lordling in the Arrufat peninsula. Eight feet tall, covered by white fur, a terrible, goat-like head with curled horns, he is an impressive individual – monstrous to humans and other species, but handsome to his own race. From his looks alone, he should have been the pride of all furrag.
To their dismay, there is something very wrong with him. Oh, yes, like all his fellow furrag he loves the hunt, the joy of catching an animal and devouring it raw. (His personal favorites are wild boars; there’s at least some meat on their bones to satisfy his enormous hunger for a short while.) But attacking sapient beings? People? Vobul would never do that, not even lay a finger to them!
For several years he managed to cover his deviancy – Vobul is especially good at blustering and appearing to the world as a menacing, bloodthirsty maniac, driving even the most ferocious opponent into wild flight. But as a guard to the lordling, his deficiencies became ever more apparent, and one day the guard caught a rather obnoxious dwarf who was trying to steal an item from the lordling’s palace.
Vobul was the one who caught him, and all expected him to tear the dwarf apart by his limbs. But the furrag simply threw the caidwarf into a cell. Discussions ensued, the lordling calling for the destruction of the miserable thief – and the other furrag grew disgusted of their comrade. They posed an ultimatum to Vobul. Within two hours he had to kill and dismember the dwarf, or the same fate would be bestowed on him.
Rather than fulfill the demands, Vobul calmly went to the cell and let the dwarf go. Then he surrendered to his fellow furrag, sure that his fate was sealed. A ritual arena was set up, in which the furrag would get to work their bloody sport on Vobul. None were permitted inside, none save for the lordling who wanted to enjoy the spectacle.
Nobody was more surprised than Vobul when suddenly a four-foot whirlwind appeared in the arena, cutting a trail of flying white fur into the very center of the arena with a waraxe. “Any o’ye wanna touch this fool,” the dwarf announced, “is gonna hae t’deal with Koyson Seabourne first!”
Twenty furrag surrounded the tiny creature and the pacifist Vobul, but Koyson was smiling confidently at his giant foes. “You should not have come here,” Vobul said quietly.
“Ye did somethin’ f’r me, I’m just payin’ ye back,” Koyson responded.
“Death,” Vobul commented, “is not what I set you free for.”
“Death,” the dwarf grinned, “is not what I have in mind.”
Let us not dwell on the details – they shall be revealed in a future story -, but Koyson had a plan to get the two of them safely out of the palace, one as devious and cunning as was perfectly needed in a situation like this.
We have already noted the fierce loyalty inherent in furrag. Perhaps it was that loyalty that made Vobul stay with the obnoxious dwarf who saved his life. Perhaps he just felt it was necessary that somebody keep watch over the four-foot idiot, lest he get himself killed long before his time.
Whichever reason, the furrag and the caidwarf have since travelled the length and width of Gushémal together, leaving a trail of wild boar bones behind them, not to mention devastated enemies (none of which were ever touched by Vobul).
What we know of Nemchek is that he claims to be a courier for Lord Delbruck of Kelanchar, a town north of Clearspring. He is an unremarkable man in his forties, haggard, and all in all a person one wouldn’t notice under any circumstances.
From his tales in the bar we can see that he is loyal to Delbruck, and that he is downcast because of the loss of the valuable bridal present for the daughter of the master of Woodburn the Old, Baron Wallith. It seems that the duty to Lord Delbruck is all that has ever mattered to him.
When we meet him, his legs were broken, and his chest is bandaged. Seriously injured, he does not appear overly worried by his wounds, only the loss of the necklace matters.
The only mentionable item he has is a silver ring on his finger.
Now in his late thirties and a jovial, paunchy man who seems very much at ease on his stool behind the tavern’s counter, he grew up in Clearspring a handsome, agile man. As by his father’s wishes, he was apprenticed to a smith in town, but he quickly grew bored with the routine and decided to leave town to find some adventure. Using up all the money he had earned in his time at the smithy (some eight months, still, before he had enough coins) – and quite a bit of good will on the smith’s side -, he bought a sword, an old armor, then he left Clearspring.
Adventure he found in his travels that brought him across most of the Wild Coast. He fought the lizards in the Blackbog, had rather unpleasant encounters with the Rhelfinian patrols, and there were heroic rescues, quests and travails. All in all, it was a eventful life – although it might not live up to some of the adventures that the characters might have in store for themselves. Still, Jerasp has a lot to remember, and much to be proud of – as one can tell from the trophy collection he has set up in The Drunken Badger.
Prized piece of said collection is a tooth of a forest dragon which he killed single-handedly. There is a nice story about this – but, to be frank, we’re leaving that up to your own imagination. Make up something nice, Jerasp deserves it.
In his journeys, he learned much about the world. Enough that he sees the opportunities that await Clearspring. So his decision to come home and open The Drunken Badger, as dreamily silly as it may seem at first, is actually based on some good thinking and a good appreciation of trade. It’s a pity that none of his hopes have been fulfilled yet, but – who knows? – they might still come true.
He has been back in Clearspring for two years by now, and he’s been married to Dwyhaney for a little over a year. Upon his return he found that the beautiful girl he remembered from his old days had now become a widow. Although her physique had changed enormously, Jerasp remembered dreaming about her in his youth, so he immediately set about courting her – obviously successfully.
When she was young, Dwyhaney was a sprightly, pretty girl – the object of dreams of many of the young men in town, not least among them Jerasp Shelft. But she always chose other men, rarely those with the best intentions for her.
Finally she settled down with a baker, raised a family of two boys. Life was troublesome for her, as her husband tended toward drinking too much and becoming aggressive afterwards. One of her sons died at age four from a disease, driving Dwyhaney in a phase of depression. She only got out of it through the love for her eldest boy, on whom she lavished all her affection, trying her best to protect him from his abusive father.
When the boy, Halward, was sixteen, he vanished from sight, leaving a letter to his mother, the sheet still wet from tears. He couldn’t stand his father anymore, wanted to see the world and find out whether there was something better to be had in life. He wasn’t sorry about getting away, but he shed many tears about leaving his mother behind.
He shouldn’t have worried quite so much. Two months after his departure, the baker died, falling from a horse in a drunken stupor and breaking his neck. Dwyhaney was left a widow, with little money but the determination to maintain the business for the day when her son would come back home. For a while she worked hard to keep the bakery going, but money was becoming scarcer and scarcer.
Then just when things looked the most dire, Jerasp Shelft returned to Clearspring and began courting her. Dwyhaney barely remembered the young boy, but was delighted at being recognized as a woman again. Still, she was afraid to fall for another man who would turn out terrible after their marriage; and she also wondered about whether Jerasp wasn’t a drifter at heart. Months passed, with Jerasp persisting, and finally they married.
To her delight, she found that Jerasp was all she could have wanted in a husband. She also found herself infected by his hopes for Clearspring, and she happily gave up the bakery to join her husband in The Drunken Badger.
One reason for her decision to marry Jerasp was actually Halward. Once Jerasp had found out about her wayward son, he belted on his sword again and set out to find the boy. Only a month later he returned to town with Dwyhaney’s son in tow. Halward had grown up quickly in the past year, and he had become a fully grown man. A man who happily embraced his mother and cried joyously at the news of his father’s demise.
He wouldn’t stay in Clearspring, since he had found employment as a guard with a merchant. He apologized many times for not writing, saying that the thought of his father reading the letter and perhaps going after his son terrified him. “It was silly, mother,” he said. “I’m all grown up and I shouldn’t have been afraid of him, but…”
Dwyhaney forgave him. Halward promised to write, now that he knew things had turned out better than he had dared hope – and he lived up to his promise. The letters are rare, but that is more due to the miserable mail service in the area than Halward’s lack of writing.
She still hopes that one day her son will return to Clearspring to stay, at the latest when the town will become a prosperous place, and that he then will take over The Drunken Badger. And perhaps she also listens to Jerasp’s tales, thinking that her current husband is far more like her son than the baker was.
Quite a hero has been lost with Estebin. In his younger days, some three decades ago, he stood tall and powerful, a man who seemed in union with his sword so much that no opponent ever dared cross him. He never strayed far from Clearspring – except for the one, longest journey of his life -, always finding the odd employment as a guard or quester – enough to pay for his daily needs.
The people expected him to one day leave town forever, off on some quest for greatness. Or perhaps that his fame would carry to a place where other swordsmen would feel a challenge issued to them. Some had already cleared a place in the graveyard for him, and once a man left a fully prepared gravestone left on Estebin’s doorstep, with the line “Someone was faster” inscribed on it.
It is needless to say that the fiery youth spent a long time looking for the perpetrator of this prank, and not few locals found themselves hiding most of the time for fear that Estebin might suspect them.
All expectations went awry when a beautiful elven woman came to town. C’rinn Des’Epaes walked into town, two swords slung over her back, and the mere sight of her drove the people into their homes, shivering fearfully that the elf might turn her nasty eye towards them.
C’rinn was used to this treatment. Unused she was to a young man simply ignoring her and going about his business. If Estebin had challenged her to a duel, to “rid the town of the evil elf”, she wouldn’t have remembered his face five minutes after the encounter. But that he ignored her, that was a true challenge to her. And that was the reason for her staying in town longer than she needed to replenish her supplies. Estebin intrigued her. She tried to provoke him into a fight, but he shrugged and walked by her.
Had he wanted to raise her interest, he couldn’t have chosen a better way. Yet Estebin truly did not care about her either way. Oh, he had noticed her beauty, and he wouldn’t have minded getting closer to C’rinn – yet he preferred to pursue his own interests.
After a few days, though, C’rinn found a way to put herself into his way. The easiest way one could imagine, since Estebin was always looking for a way to make money using his sword. “I need to hire a swordsman,” C’rinn announced in the local tavern (which incidentally became the Grocery Store in much later days). “Does any of you feel he can be of service to me?”
Estebin did, sure that his abilities with the blade would be more than sufficient. And off the two went on a journey that had no definite goal – other than C’rinn wanting to learn more about this human. Estebin didn’t care about there being a destination, he was paid, and that was enough. Together they experienced adventures, and together they took on and killed an emperor dragon.
But soon he would learn that an elven woman, when properly motivated, can be more than an ordinary human male can withstand. To her own surprise, C’rinn found herself falling in love with the human, and half a year later, a priest of Alyssa found himself shaken out of his sleep in order to marry the two. It was a tiny shrine they had found, in a way-off place, somewhere far from Clearspring. The cleric gathered his companion priestess, and together they performed a quick marriage ceremony – that was hurried by the grim and determined looks in both their supplicants’ faces.
A child was born from the union, a girl that C’rinn named Ha’el, smiling at her husband when she announced the name. The two returned to Clearspring, so happy together that they easily ignored the hateful glances of the people. Elves have never been appreciated anywhere, and Clearspring is no exception. Worse, one of their own had disgraced himself by marrying an elf, and worse still, there was a crossbreed! Estebin couldn’t care less. He continued to make money in his own way – his swordsmanship was still in demand -, and when Ha’el was a bit older, C’rinn joined him in those endeavors.
But then the girl was weaned from C’rinn, and only two weeks later she told her husband that she was leaving. For the people of Clearspring, one day the elf was in the house, playing with her daughter – the next she was gone, and a dour frown was engraved on Estebin’s face that would never again vanish. He never gave any explanation, but neither did he ever ignore a negative comment made towards C’rinn or elves in general. Should anyone ever say that the elf only toyed with him and left when the fun was over, that person would see himself faced with a blade or whichever weapon was in Estebin’s reach.
the GM: Please don’t try to make up a specific reason for this. Although
you may use Estebin freely in your adventures, the character and
especially his background will be further explored in future stories. His
daughter, Ha’el, along with the other characters from Ruins and Hopes
will re-appear at some point in the future, and then we will give some
further explanations. We might even meet C’rinn herself again, that
hasn’t been determined as of now. So, please stay away from inventing
any additional details. Thank you!
The first thing Estebin did was give up his blade. Although for a long time it was always hidden under his clothes, he rarely revealed that fact, and on his daughter he impressed that a warrior’s way was the wrong way to lead a good life. (Not that it kept Ha’el from pursuing just that road in life.) He took any employment he could find to pay for himself and his daughter, a difficult task since he would no longer rent out his sword, and since he had to look after Ha’el he couldn’t leave Clearspring.
Somehow he managed to raise the girl, and it was thanks to her that he found good favors with the townsfolk. Young Ha’el attached herself to the so-called twin-born – two boys who were born within the same hour and thus considered divinely connected – as their would-be guardian, and she could never be separated. Her persistence alone made the twin-born’s parents accept her, and over time she became well-liked. The people began to overlook the fact she was half-elf. Instead they realized that she was a good person – and they realized that they had done Estebin wrong.
Oh, it never got so far that any would have admitted the latter to Estebin. And it took them a long time to fully accept him. But it did happen. And that allowed Estebin to get a steady job and earn good money as a carpenter. At some point he realized that he had a minor talent for sculpture, so that he could improve his funds by carving statues and other works.
Although things had gotten better, he was still a dour-faced man. A good father, a ready friend, but there was always a worry in his life about which he would never speak. The townsfolk assume that he still pines for C’rinn, silly after some goodly three decades, but none ever managed to find out whether that is the truth.
Today, in his fifties, his hair is gray, and his left leg limps. Stooped over slightly, there is only a faint trace of the handsome youth he once were.
And in the present day, he also has a new reason for worry, ever since Ha’el suddenly disappeared from Clearspring, along with the twin-born boys. None know why the three vanished, the letters each left behind were cryptic and devoid of any real explanations. When he found out, Estebin went straight to The Drunken Badger and ordered a watered-down wine. He didn’t get drunk that day, or any other. Quietly, he sipped on the wine, looking at the flames in the fireplace, his eyes far, far away.
Jerasp asked him what was wrong, and Estebin handed him the letter without a word.
“Would you like something stronger?” Jerasp asked calmly after reading the brief letter.
Estebin shook his head. “No need. Thank you.”
The innkeeper stayed at the table for a minute, pondering whether to say anything. Finally, he asked, “Do you have any idea why she left?”
“No,” Estebin replied. “It doesn’t matter. It’s in her blood. I tried to teach her better, but you can’t change the blood. You can’t change it.”
Jerasp nodded. For a moment he stood quietly watching Estebin, then left. That day he never presented a bill to the old man staring at the fireplace.
Habarme, seamstress and owner of the Tailor's Shop
She is twenty-three years old, a seamstress with great hopes for the future of not only Clearspring but also herself. Five years ago she came to Clearspring from a small village twenty miles away, a place called Bridgers. It’s a very small village, with no more than thirty people. The name is derived from the fact that the village is on one side of the single bridge over the Whitestream for the next ten miles up- or downstream.
It wasn’t the right place for her dreams, and so Zevia moved to the much larger Clearspring. Though that town still doesn’t offer much to her, it certainly is a better starting point.
The first years she spent as a clerk and seamstress at the Tailor’s Shop, working for the old owner, impressing him with her imagination and her precise work. For that, the previous owner felt she would do the shop proud, and sold the store to her. But, as already mentioned in the description of the Tailor’s Shop, things haven’t worked out so well for her, and most of the locals disdain purchasing her services.
Zevia hasn’t let things get her spirits down, and the dreams still live in her. One needs only look at the exquisite dresses in her shop, dresses that would never be worn by any woman in Clearspring. She is convinced that better times will come to town, better times will come to her – and that conviction has earned her the friendship of the owners of The Drunken Badger. Dwyhaney in particular is a friend of hers. The two often share conversations, not least because Zevia takes most of her meals at the inn.
A while ago she was engaged to the miner Cravit Daig, but things went awry when Zevia decided to buy the Tailor’s Shop. While Daig has become bitter about this, Zevia has put the memory cleanly behind herself. She still maintains affection for him, but her focus is so completely on making her shop a success that she isn’t truly bothered by this. There have also been other men in her life, but most of her affairs ended bitterly, with the men insisting that she marry them to become a full-time housewife – but Zevia insisted on running the shop.
In the middle of his twenties, Daig is already a veteran of the mines. When the richness of the deposits was discovered some ten years ago, fifteen-year-old Daig joined the ranks of the miners, deciding to spend his days in the dark confines of the shafts below the ground. He dreamed of the wealth that would surely be his – the talk of gadnú already made the rounds of Clearspring back then, and all thought that all the dwarves of Gushémal would flock here to witness their sacred metal unearthed.
No wealth came his way – as none did come to Clearspring -, only the modest wages at the end of the week, barely enough to support a living. Some while ago he had been engaged to Zevia Habarme, but their plans fell apart in a dispute over her buying the Tailor’s Shop. Today there’s a clear streak of bitterness to Cravit whenever he sees his former fiancée. His life in the mines seems a bitter, dark road, now that his dreams have turned to ashes.
When he comes to The Drunken Badger and sees Jerasp’s enthusiasm for the future, he only has biting comments to make, and occasionally enjoys reminding him that few people ever find their way into Clearspring. Still, a tiny spark of hope still burns within Daig – and that is the reason why he keeps coming back to the tavern.
Daig is well liked by his fellow miners. A hard worker, powerfully built, he keeps laboring the longest of hours, hacking monotonously at the walls – driven, one could say. It seems as if he was trying to claw his way out of the drab life he’s leading, into a new one. (Note: A dwarf making the acquaintance of Daig might remember the story of the dweorgh, how they fought their way out of the mine of the Gods, to find a new life for themselves.)
Nobody quite remembers when the alreu showed up in town. One day the manling was there, knew everybody’s name (everybody!), had a good idea who they were, and behaved as if he had spent all his life in Clearspring. In typical alreu fashion he proceeded to annoy each and everyone he met, but being as polite as alreus are, he escaped any quick punishment that might have been on some people’s minds.
Then Loresh Daurphan caught on to Eilig’s amazing abilities as an artisan – first when he found one morning that the entire doorway of his shop had been refurnished into a sculpture of his wife’s face. It was a beautiful work of art – but, unfortunately, nobody could walk through the doorway anymore!
To Eilig’s chagrin, Loresh ordered him to remove the sculpture right away (and mounted in the family living room). To the alreu’s surprise, Loresh then asked him whether he could provide more of the same kind – only smaller. Of course the manling quickly recovered from the shock, and within a day’s time, Loresh’s shop was filled with small masterpieces Eilig had created. (It was also filled with the previous owners who were vociferously complaining to Loresh about the alreu’s thieving ways.)
After a while, things were worked out so that Eilig was always well supplied for his tinkering without having to steal anything. (Which he still does, but the people of Clearspring have become used to locking away their valuables, and counting them any time they see Eilig. Should something vanish nonetheless, it is understood that the little work of art created by the alreu is still in the possession of the original owner. Most are rather happy with that, seeing that their homes are brightened by artworks they could never have dreamed about otherwise.) The alreu was given a studio to work in, which also serves as his living quarters and the place to look for if anything has gone missing in town.
Eilig’s works are also on display in The Drunken Badger, on the apron of the open fireplace in the commons room.
He can be found virtually anywhere, at any time, and some people wonder whether there might not be a horde of polite, friendly and annoying alreus living in their town.
The kindly Darawk priest of Clearspring is a stout man with red cheeks. Looking at him, one might think he appreciates an ale (or two or three) now and then, but the locals have never seen him touch any alcoholic spirits. He never says a word against imbibing, gladly joins the tavern’s patrons, yet always he drinks non-alcoholic beverages, perhaps simple water or a glass of milk.
His age is somewhat undetermined, he looks young enough to be in his mid-thirties, but some of his tales make it seem that he must be over forty.
He always wears the deep-brown jacket of a Darawk priest devoted to teaching, as is proper. His jacket is simple, without any embroidery. There are no signs of his rank in the clergy. Under the jacket he wears a white shirt and tan breeches, customarily, but these change.
Urquart is well-regarded in Clearspring (although the children don’t particularly enjoy going to school at his shrine). Although most people stay away from his scholarly excursions on the history of the town, or herb lore, or any of the other topics he likes to expound upon, his opinion is often sought out to settle a dispute, or to find some information to help in a decision.
The priest appeared in Clearspring some fifteen to twenty years ago, when he was still a very young man. Originally from a small kingdom across Shane’s Sea (one that was wrested from Tonomai control half a century ago), he travelled with a ship to the Arrufat peninsula but got shipwrecked right before Freeport. (He never said how the ship was sunk; it might have been a storm, but there’s also a chance that pirates based in Freeport attacked it.)
Stranded in Freeport, Urquart spent a few weeks there before deciding to explore the Wild Coast. “I had nothing better to do,” he is often heard explaining, “since no ship was likely to sail to my home within the next few months.” So he journeyed through the Wild Coast until he came to Clearspring. Close to town he had an accident falling from his horse, broke his leg and was brought to town to recuperate. He fell in love with the town and decided to open a shrine, to bring knowledge to the people. That, after all, is the goal of any Darawk priest.
Important information to the GM: The following paragraphs are information that is not directly available in Clearspring. In fact, the only person who knows about this is Urquart himself. You can use it for future hooks, or just to give the character additional depth in later adventures of your party.
Although Urquart claims to be a full Darawk priest, the truth is that he has never been ordained. When he was shipwrecked at Freeport, he was only a novice, still months away from being accepted into the clergy. He had learned a few blessings and curses, but by far not all that a regular priest knows. (That is also the reason why he does not know magiscribe, the lack of which has led the three youngsters from the story Ruins and Hopes to leave Clearspring.)
In his journey through the Wild Coast, he did his best to act as a real Darawk priest should, gathering knowledge, spreading it as well as he could. During those travails he must have pleased the god Darawk so much that he began to acquire Sacred Reservoir points for his blessings; he became able to cast the blessings. So, to that effect, Urquart has indeed become a real Darawk priest. Nonetheless, the fact that he lied about this in the first place has brought a penalty with it. Urquart cannot cast his blessings very effectively – the only exception are healing spells. In that regard, Darawk clearly has decided that healing is too important, and penalizing Urquart on this point would also penalize the people.
By the way, that is also the reason why Urquart never drinks in public. He fears revealing his secret under the influence of alcohol. Privately, when he knows that none will learn of it, he does enjoy a few ales. This private drinking might be one occasion to introduce Urquart’s secret to the party; when his services are unexpectedly needed, and the good priest has obviously had a few ales.
(As for his lying about his being a full priest, you should also remember that, according to the story, Urquart has apparently invented a “sovereign” of the Wild Coast in Freeport. In truth, the ruler of Freeport – Commodore Decker – has never claimed any control on any area outside his city. There might be some other occasions when Urquart has made up stories rather than tell the truth. The question is what his reasons for this behavior are…)
He just celebrated his fiftieth birthday a few weeks ago. All of Clearspring had gathered at The Drunken Badger to throw a great party for their mayor, but Bearrun pasted an all too fake grin on his face and tried his best not to trouble the celebration. It has been quite a while since the mayor has been able to smile freely – three years to be exact.
It has been that long since his beloved wife Tellyn died in an accident at Townhall, where the couple lived. She had been planning on examining the upper, third floor of the building, to see whether something of interest could be found there, but just as she had reached the top of the stairs, her feet slipped and she fell back down the stairs. Her neck broke, and with it, Kayrol Bearrun felt as if his own life had been taken from him.
He had been a tall, strong man before, but since the accident, his figure has grown gaunt and weary. Food has become the least of his worries in life. Instead he has focused all his energy on his work as mayor, trying his best to improve the lot of Clearspring and its people. Aside from work, the only interest in his life are the four cats who share his rooms in Townhall. (The bedroom of the couple has been locked up since the day of the accident and never been entered again.) They are strays who simply appeared in the weeks after Tellyn’s death, comforting the mayor’s plight by their presence. They have rarely left the Townhall – obviously there is enough to occupy the cats inside the building, starting with the rats in the basement, and perhaps some of the toys on the third floor. Sometimes one of the cats can be seen whisking through Clearspring, and there is always a sense of determination about the feline.
Bearrun used to be a popular man before his wife’s death, often to be found in the local tavern (which was actually not The Drunken Badger, but the inn’s predecessor), having a drink with some of the other patrons, telling jokes and tall tales all throughout the night, not to mention prophecying a marvelous future for Clearspring. He had always been open for his people’s questions and requests – something that hasn’t changed. But in the past three years, it has only been the occasion of his birthday that he visited a tavern and was seeing touching a mug of ale (without actually drinking any). He leads a withdrawn life.
Today he can no longer be called popular. Oh, he is highly regarded, and his work as mayor is considered excellent – which is also the reason why he was re-elected a year ago. But the strongest sentiment felt by the locals is sympathy; they have seen Bearrun fall apart by Tellyn’s death, and everyone hopes that he can somehow pull himself together and face life anew.